Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor


In mid-March, some city residents received a “Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed

Changes to the Residential Refuse Collection and Disposal Rates,” and some did not.

And then there were the ones who received it and unwittingly trashed it because it was

intertwined with junk mail. Because of that, many residents are completely unaware

of this proposed exorbitant increase, which impacts landlords, tenants and

property owners alike.


This important piece of information will allow Recology, Sunset Scavenger and

Recology Golden Gate to increase our garbage rates by 300 percent!

This number is not an error, mind you.


It turns out that San Franciscans are so good at recycling and getting to the city’s

goal of zero waste that Ecology will now increase our rates and focus their

billings on “the unit,” not the black bin! The “unit,” whether a single family

house or an apartment building with 1-5 dwelling units, will bear the brunt of your

garbage bill. All that important recycling that you’ve accomplished

in your household will not be rewarded by the City, but instead you will be penalized.


The current price per unit is $5.16 per house, or unit. That charge will now

increase to $20. Do the math! That is more than a 300 percent increase.

In addition, the blue and green bins will increase by 150 percent.


Currently, Recology is charging a little more than $2 per bin,

which will increase to $5.22. Nonetheless, Recology has proposed decreasing the

pricing on the 32-gallon black bin from –$25 to $10.44

(more than a 50 percent decrease).  However, Recology has calculated that

this is only a 22.96 percent increase (from an average total bill of $34 to $41).


The promise of rebates looms in the future but, as we all know,

Recology removes those rebates over time. Your garbage bill is

slated to increase even though Recology indicates that this is not the case.


I’m not sure what happened to your household over the past

years, but the pilot program that our neighborhood street was subjected

to was discontinued in late 2015, leading to a 33 percent increase

by 2016.


I have spoken to several hundred people and they are using

the black bin less and less as we have trended to generate less

garbage and more recyclables and compostables. Recology is

aware of this trend, thus the change in the focus of the bill.


I urge you to write a letter of protest by the May 4 deadline to:

Refuse Rates Hearing Officer, c/o SF Department of Public

Works, City Hall, Room 348, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, SF, CA 94102.


The Department of Public Works will not accept protests via fax, e-mail or phone;

only written protests mailed or delivered to City Hall will count.

And we need 100,000 letters to stop the increase.

The City does not want to hear from you in any aspect of

this as they arrange public hearings between 8 a.m and noon on

various weekdays, when people work. I’ve attended those hearings

only to have the short 30 minutes reserved for voicing concerns shortened to 10 minutes.


Please, I urge you to stop Recology from driving up our garbage bill.


Tracy Thompson

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